By Lynn Edmonds
The Flushing Business Improvement District hosted their second annual festival on Saturday in Downtown Flushing, doubling the number of vendors from the previous year, for a busy event that gathered crowds despite the heat.
Restaurants such as Hong Kong Taste, based in Elmhurst and Song’s Family Food, based in Flushing, sold a colorful array of dishes varying from dim sum to Kimbap.
Bianca Ng, who chaired the program committee that organized the festival and sits on the board of directors, said Flushing needed to think big in terms of street festivals, like Brooklyn and Manhattan do.
“Flushing is the business city,” she said, “We want to have some festivities to showcase the diversity of Flushing.”
Carrie, from Long Island, said the festival created a bridge between Chinese business owners and visitors who were not familiar with their products or culture.
“When people don’t know a lot about Chinese culture this is a good way to introduce it to them.”
Ng also pointed out that the festival featured cuisines from various provinces in China as well as Hong Kong, Vietnam and Korea.
One Korean vendor was Song’s Family Food, a family-owned business started 10 years ago.
Eric Song, the grandson of the founder, manned the booth. He sold what is sometimes referred to as “Korean sushi” – Kimbap.
Asked the difference between Kimbap and sushi, Song explained that Kimbap is usually filled with cooked meats rather than raw fish, and the rice is seasoned with salt and sesame oil instead of vinegar.
Flushing-based Kung Fu Tea, which bills themselves as the fastest growing bubble tea business in North America, with over 50 franchises, was also selling their popular strawberry lemon tea.
Diablo Team NYC offered a free lesson in Chinese yoyo for passersby.
“It’s easy to learn, hard to master” a club member explained.
For one attendee, Frank Zhang, the event only inspired him to think he could do it better.
He pictured mixing it up with a southern Cajun Crawfish boil.
He was looking for something “different,” he said. “Queens is not caught up to Taiwan and China.”